Artist-led expeditions into one of the driest places on earth with indigenous culture and ecology. Reconnect to nature learn from indigenous knowledge and explore pressing issues of our time.
Desert 23°S (Atacama, Chile) presents a rare opportunity to research and develop new artistic & creative practices in one of the driest environments on our planet within an indigenous community inside a national nature reserve of diverse flora and fauna. This otherworldly region closer resembles the surface of Mars than Earth, offers the most optimal conditions for astronomical observations in the world and preserves ancient archeology beneath the sands. Within the dry landscape, lives an unbelievably diverse and rich ecosystem that remains due to the knowledge of indigenous groups who fight to protect the area from exploitative, water-intensive extraction and mining.
Our fluid, site-responsive program introduces creatives to the local ecology and culture as well as contemporary socio-political issues and historical contexts of the area, whilst presenting reciprocal benefits for local communities both socially + economically through our presence and exchange.
We cultivate spaces that nourish and encourage space for personal and professional growth, the freedom to learn and experiment creatively, gather and find new inspiration in a remote, vast place far from structural or institutional frameworks and limitations. Though this program we engage with new ecological and cultural perspectives of our time in a multitude of ways, as well as promoting necessary dialogues and understanding between remote areas of this planet to others worldwide.
Funds generated from our on the ground expeditions go to sustain the project, the workers involved and into the remote communities we share with, supporting infrastructure, community, outreach and conservation of remote places. We currently offer the possibility of partial financial aid on all our programs.
We run a series of rolling deadlines in the period upcoming to our programs. Decisions on applications take between 10-15 days after the deadlines.
Program Duration and Dates
Applications are currently open to join for 3 weeks minimum between March 8 - Nov 15, 2019 during the following time periods:
June 3 - June 24, 2019 (NEW)
Aug 30 - Sept 20, 2019 (NEW)
Sept 27 - Oct 18, 2019
Oct 25 - Nov 15, 2019
Participants will live together in a shared house in a small desert oasis sheltered from the vast desert, within an indigenous community inside the national nature reserve of flamencos. Rooms will be shared between 2-3 (private rooms may also be available on request prior to arrival) bedding will be provided.
+ Food / Water
Participants will be given food supplies during their stay. Safe drinking water will be available to participants during their stay.
+ Working Space
We are open to cross-disciplinary applications spanning arts, creative and other fields. Create in an outdoor, communal and diverse workspace connected to the desert oasis ecology. Participants will be encouraged to use the outdoor environment as their day to day workspace or studio. Aside from this a communal outdoor working area with tables and chairs will be available to use.
Participants are encouraged to be resourceful and work with local methods, materials, basic tools and equipment within the community and isolated natural environment.
A curated program with opportunities to interact and learn from locals about culture, politics + ecology of the desert environment.
+ Particiant Resources
Access all the resources you need beforehand to get the most out the experience, including advice on planning the trip, how / where to book and arrange your travel international + local, health and safety advice + more.
+ Location Support
Participants will have a network of support throughout the duration of your stay from both English speaking guides, experienced in fields of art + cultural subjects, often involving knowledgable local guides from the area.
+ Local Transfers
Welcome on arrival with english speaking guides offering assistance, with a specially arranged transfer via road on landing into our supportive base in the vast Atacama desert.
+ Research Trips
Experience the open, everchanging otherworldliness of the Atacama desert through National Parks protected by indigenous communties, and gather information to inspire works in a creative group environment, through our curated research trips focussing on desert ecology, communities + local culture with both local and english speaking guides experienced in fields of arts + cultural subjects.
Take part in an array of interesting on-location activities that will introduce participants to the local ecology, history, contemporary threats to sustainability, farming + culture within the desert to inform and expand your research, practice and understanding.
+ Entrance Fees
Local entrances at certain protected areas are covered per participant to further support the collective of indigenous communities of the Atacama Desert in their autonomy and independence, alongside the protection of their culture and land. Our financial support is used for legal representation against corporate interd environmental destruction.
Opportunities to apply to showcase works internationally with LWC made through the project, through our online platform and in exhibitions reaching intl. audiences.
+ Library and Archives
Access a range of material inc. text, articles, books, music and films related to the project themes, local environment + culture in our curated transportable library and archives with contributions from previous participants, artists, researchers + local collaborators.
+ Funding Support
We offer support to participants without the means to support themselves privately to apply for further funds, after being accepted onto the program. This includes providing comprehensive lists of intl. funders, checking through applications, offering advice based on experience with previous successful applicants, supporting letters, documents + information. Previous funders include Arts Council's in UK, Australia, Scandinavia and more.
Fees + Financial Aid:
With LWC Financial Aid
*£567 p week
Full Program Fee
£800 p week
Reduced Program Fee from: £399 a week* / £587 a week
Local Transfer from nearest airport:
£23 / *£21 each way
Program w/ Local Indigenous Collaborators:
from £40 / *£28 p session
Research Excursions in Surrounding Area:
from £50 / *£35 p excursion (full program only)
Bike Rental / Laundry / Local Town Transport Supplies Service (weekly):
£9 p day / *£7 p day
£25 / *£17 p day
Food / 3 meals & potable water:
£20 / *£14 p day
Artist Support, Location Guides,
Creative & Technical Support:
£28 / *£18 p day
Guided Visits to Archeology / Meteorite Museums & Observatory:
from £30 / *£27 p visit (full program only)
* with LWC Financial Aid. What you can expect to pay
How to Apply:
STEP 1: Fill out all information on the Online Application Form including personal information, selection of dates + location.
STEP 2: Provide an online link to demonstrate recent work or link to download files via wetransfer.
STEP 3: Tell us why you want to join us in your ‘statement of intent’ and fill out our scenario based questions.
If you are applying for financial aid please check the appropriate box on the application form.
For applications of more than 1 person an individual must fill out one application on behalf of the group.
(Zero Application Fees)
To help fund your experience view our past supporters.
Programmed Activities Detailed:
OUR PROGRAMMED ACTIVITIES ARE CURATED AS A GATEWAY FOR CONNECTING AND SHARING WITH THE LOCAL COMMUNITY AND SURROUNDING NATURE, FOR RESIDENTS TO DEVELOP THEIR UNDERSTANDING, AWARENESS AND RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PLACE AND PEOPLE WE WORK WITH HERE.
OUTSIDE OF OUR PROGRAMMED ACTIVITIES RESIDENTS WILL BE IN A place where DAY TO DAY CONTACT WITH THE COMMUNITY AND SURROUNDING NATURE is abundant. HERE there WILL BE OPPORTUNITIES TO CREATE DIALOGUES, FRIENDSHIPS AND To SHARE YOUR WORK AND PRACTICE WITH THE RESIDENCY PEER GROUP or community members THROUGH our OPEN work environment, artist presentations AND AN END OF RESIDENCY showcase.
PROGRAM Developed WITH LOCAL COLLABORATORS:
Archeological site Visit, Native Plants & Uses
Ancestral Llama Caravan Walk
Andean Astronomy night excursion
Agricultural Visit and Tasting (Full program*)
ARTIST RESEARCH EXCURSIONS In SURROUNDING environment (Full program*):
Ancient Petroglyph and Rainbow Valley Site Visit *
Reserva Nacional de Flamencos / indigenous community of Machuca *
Valley of the Moon / Geological Site Visit *
Tebinciche Reserve in the Salar of Atacama, Site Visit *
Toconao indigenous community and Valley of Jerez, Site Visit *
Catarpe indigenous Community and River, site visit *
Guided Visits to local museums & observatory (Full program*):
Museum Meteorite *
Museum Archeology *
Observatory Visit *
*Included in full program fee only. Available to arrange separately for residents who select reduced program.